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|Sacrifice of Love(Grey Wolves #7) by Quinn Loftis|
“A cemetery?” Costin asked.
Peri thought about it, “A cemetery might work for the second line, but the third and fourth line don’t make sense if that’s the answer.”
“I was thinking a battlefield,” Wadim said.
Peri snapped her fingers, “'Dead bodies in the ground, many of them.' Wadim you’re brilliant!”
“You aren’t going to hug me are you?” he asked her.
Peri’s eyes narrowed, “Do I look like a hugger?”
Wadim shook his head quickly.
“So it’s a battlefield or someplace where lots of people died and their bodies stayed there until the land took them. But why would the second line say greatness, along with treachery and demise?”
“Greatness does not always equate to good,” Ainsel said as he once again came walking out of the woods. Only two other pixies were with him this time. “This is Sully and Dorri. They are the holders of the memories of our history.”
“How do we get the memories out of them?” Costin asked looking at the two female pixies curiously.
“You don’t shake them if that’s what you’re thinking,” Peri snapped.
Costin blushed slightly, revealing that it had indeed crossed his mind.
“They must choose to give them to you, and you have to ask the right question to get the memory. They don’t just give out memories like fae bread.”
Costin frowned, “Is that supposed to be significant?”
Peri groaned, “Bloody hell man, fae bread to pixies is like beer to humans. It makes them very happy little people.”
Costin nodded as he made an ‘ah’ sound in understanding.
Peri took a seat on the ground and looked at Ainsel waiting for him to give the okay to the two girls.
“It’s important that you ask specific questions. That will make it easier on them to narrow it down,” Ainsel explained.
Peri nodded, “Got it, specific. Great, I only have thousands of years to sift through.” She closed her eyes and thought about the first two lines of the riddle and how they had decided that they felt it was a battleground of some sort.
Her eyes opened and she looked at Sully. “What battlegrounds in supernatural history bore the most death?”
“Good one,” Wadim muttered his approval.
Sully walked over to Peri, her small stature barely reaching the fae’s knee. She placed her tiny hand on the skin of Peri’s hand and looked directly into the fae’s eyes.
Peri’s breath caught as images swam in her mind, first they moved so fast she could barely make any sense of them and then gradually they began to slow down until they were moving at a pace that she was able to discern what she saw. So much blood shed, so many battles and all for what, she thought to herself as the images continued to run through her mind like a movie. Gradually they slowed again until there were two that seemed to repeat themselves over and over. Then suddenly a third image showed up but it was distorted so much that she could not make out what it was. The three images repeated over and over and she repeated in her mind, the most death, hoping it would cause one of them to finally be singled out among them. And then they stopped and the only image left in her mind was of a picture that looked as though the lens of the camera had been severely out of focus when it was taken.
“Dammit!” She blew out a breath and the pixie stepped back. “Thank you,” Peri told Sully gently.
“I take it that to the fae the word dammit also means that something severely sucks.” Costin said.
Peri looked up at him with a single brow raised. “If you mean severely sucks as in the one image that seems to hold the most deaths is so blurry that all I can tell is that there might have been something resembling a place at one time, then yes the dammit holds true.”
“Why would something in your history look like that in their minds?” Wadim asked Ainsel.
“Usually when there is some sort of tampering with a memory. It’s either something someone has done to one of the holders, or there has been some sort-of spell cast over that specific memory so that though you might have been there when it happened, but you would not remember that it even occurred.”
“Why would someone try to wipe out an entire battle?” Costin thought out loud. “Part of surviving as long as we do is from learning from our past, our mistakes.”
Peri stood up and brushed off her clothes and gathered herself. “Haven’t you ever heard the saying that some things are better left forgotten?”
“Yeah, and the idiot who said it died because he forgot not to walk through the forest of his enemy where some of his friends were killed,” Wadim told her.
Peri paused and looked back at the historian. “That’s not true,” she challenged him.
He grinned. “No, but you have to admit it would be a fitting end for someone who would say something so very ignorant.”
Peri gave a noncommittal shrug but didn’t disagree, for once.
“Can you lift your magic just long enough for me to flash back, so I don’t have to wait for nerd boy and sex toy to keep up with me?”
The two wolves behind her coughed on their surprised laughter at her description of them.
Ainsel waved his hand absently. “Done,” he took a step forward when he spoke his next words, “I wish I could help more Peri,” Ainsel told her.
“Ouch,” Wadim muttered.
“Yeah, that was not a wise thing for him to say to this fae.” Costin agreed.
Peri gave the king a curious look and then a slow smile spread across her too beautiful face, “I think you can king. What would you say to action, intrigue, sword fights, pirates, betrayal, and true love?” She nodded at him as if it were the best idea she had ever come up with. “Come on, it will be just like The Princess Bride only better because I’ll be there.”
The last thing Costin and Wadim heard as Peri and the king flashed was Ainsel’s voice. “What’s The Princess Bride?”
Costin and Wadim laughed, but their laughter was cut short when suddenly Peri appeared, grabbed both their hands, and then they were gone.
“If I never see you again, at least I can say that you were mine. At one time, you belonged only to me. I hold onto that as I feel the link between us slipping away. I hold onto the knowledge that there was a time when the bond between us completed our souls, leaving no space between us. There was a time when I did not question how long our lives together would be, because where you went, I went. And now, somehow, we went different directions, and I am so much weaker without you.” ~Alina